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Kevin Dean
by Kevin Dean
on March 11, 2019

If you have yet to create a buyer persona, please stop whatever you're doing and create one. The buyer persona is the cornerstone to helping your sales teams, both direct and indirect, drive growth. It allows you to not only have a good understanding of who you're targeting, but it shows you how to tailor your sales approach to address the pain points of the prospects.

The buyer persona helps you understand the motives of your prospects. Why do they want to purchase your product? How are they going to use it? How long are they going to use it? What channel will they use to purchase your product? What challenges or barriers are keeping them from buying it? When you can answer all of these questions, you then have a solid foundation on which to enable your direct and indirect sales teams to close more deals quicker. Remember, it's not all about your product. It's about your customers and how your product can simplify their lives.

Keep reading to learn why understanding the motives to your different markets is critical to success.

Understanding Prospects' Motives

Your prospects have physiological and psychological needs. When they make a purchase, they are fulfilling one of these needs, or at least attempting to. Their motive for purchasing a product determines how much they will pay for it, how quickly they are likely to go through the buyer's journey, and how often they will return for a new product. As a sales leader, your job is to understand the process that takes place when a prospect discovers a motive and then chooses to embark down a path that could lead to buying a product. By understanding this process, it becomes easier to refine your sales communications to align with the motivation of your customers, which therefore increases the likelihood of getting them to make a purchase.

Let's take a look at the four distinct stages of customer motivation to buy a product:

Awareness: It starts with becoming aware of a latent or overt need. This need then becomes a discomfort; this is what motivates the customer to begin looking for a solution.

Consideration: The motivation turns into a desire or a want, and the customer starts choosing between different solutions.

Decision: The customer commits to one solution, purchases a product or service, and fulfills his or her desire/need.

Use: After the purchasing of the product, the experience of using the product has a significant impact on future sales, both from the direct purchaser and others who are later made aware of the experience.

By understanding your customers' motivations, each of your marketing methods can be adjusted to include an emotional element. The goal is to deliver the prospect with an emotional value proposition that immediately resonates. You want the customer to realize the severity of their need, and more importantly, that the need can be addressed right now.

Because of the complexity of surrounding non-physiological motivations, it's often difficult for marketers to understand customer motivations. Thankfully, using analytics, business intelligence, and other marketing tools, you can easily identify your customers' motivations and use them to adjust your marketing methods accordingly. You'll enjoy smarter decision-making, better achievement of marketing goals, increased revenue, extensive insight regarding customer knowledge, and most importantly, you'll deliver a superior customer experience.

Use Analytics to Measure Touch-Points and Sources of Traffic

Motivation seems to be the most important factor affecting conversion. However, elements impacting motivation do not all hold equal weight. Value, along with incentive and customer friction and anxiety, all play a large role in the buyer's journey. To increase conversions, it's pertinent to leverage your data to see where your customers' motivation is coming from. You can look at a variety of metrics to see what's motivating your customers:

  • Conversion rates: High degree of motivation
  • Click-through rates: High degree of motivation
  • Average order value: Higher average order value usually means a high degree of motivation
  • Price elasticity: When small price fluctuations don't significantly impact conversion rates, this means your customers' motivation is being impacted by something aside from the product's price
  • Channel exposure: If you notice a certain channel drives the majority of engagements

Perform Market Research

Conduct studies and use existing data to pinpoint trends and patterns to help you understand why your customers are buying from you. There are numerous ways to perform market research, including through:

  • Customer surveys
  • In-store product testing
  • At-home product testing
  • Group facility research
  • Mystery shoppers
  • Monitor online reviews and forums
  • Social media polls and surveys

Use Business Intelligence

Business intelligence applications and tools give you a 360-degree view of who your customers are and why they make purchases. You can use this intelligence to eliminate bottlenecks in the buyer's journey that hinder product purchasing activity. You can also use it to refine your existing processes and automate tasks that move the customer through the buyer's journey. The insights you garner from business intelligence can help your salespeople better collaborate thanks to easy access to data via a centralized database. Along with better collaboration comes greater insight into the motivations of your customers.

The Takeaway

When you understand the conclusions your customers have to come to before committing to a purchase, you then understand how to adjust your sales communications. This is why it's so important to understand customer motivations. If you have customers in different markets, you'll need to understand the differences in their motivations. Research and data are going to be at the heart of understanding customer motivations. If you have yet to start using a CRM, it's time you make the upgrade. Your marketing and salespeople will greatly appreciate having the ability to manage customer relationships from a centralized database. Plus, you can run reports and integrate the program with other systems to combine data and gain even greater insight into the motivations behind your customers' purchasing decisions.

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